Tag: Mother Nature News

This is what dogs are all about!

A truly beautiful blog post.

I’m still struggling with WordPress but wanted to post the following rather than delay it.

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How a dog named Maybe saved the day

Not every happy-ending rescue story starts with love at first sight.

 By JO DILONARDO   October 29, 2018

Maybe Jade poses with her new family the day she was adopted. (Photo: Kerrieann Axt/KGA Photography)

Just a few months ago, Kerrieann Axt began searching for a puppy. The family dog was 16 years old and her three kids were itching to have a playful four-legged friend.

“I was looking at rescue dogs under the radar,” Axt tells MNN. She didn’t tell the kids, but each time she found a dog she liked, she would show her husband, Michael, who would just say no. That is, until she found a cute little waggly-tail boxer/hound/Lab mix going by the name of Twinkie.

“I showed him a picture of Twinkie and he said, well, maybe, and she kind of became the maybe baby,” she says. “I told the kids maybe we’ll go look at this one dog, but it’s just a maybe right now. We just don’t know if she’ll like us or if we’ll like her.”

They met her and then she met their other dog, Jackson Cade, and everyone got along just fine. So she moved to their Sandy Springs, Georgia, home.

“When she got here and she was staying, we thought now her name has to be Maybe,” Axt says.

Maybe’s middle name is Jade, a mashup of their other dog’s two names. Sometimes they call her MJ, but she is always the Maybe dog.

And that’s how it went for a while.

Not a snuggly pup, but a super-smart one

Eliot (left) and Townesend (right) work on Maybe’s training. (Photo: Kerrieann Axt/KGA Photography)

Maybe went to live with the excited Axt family in early July, but early on she wasn’t exactly the puppy the kids hoped for. Ten-year-old twins Owen and Eliot and 8-year-old Townesend wanted to hold and snuggle their new little girl. But Maybe wasn’t having it.

“She is very independent and very smart,” says Axt. She’s around you sometimes, but is perfectly content to go hang out on her bed and have some alone time.

The kids knew she was a wonderful dog, but they were somewhat disappointed, which prompted some family discussions. They knew this would be the one puppy their kids would grow up with, and they wanted it to be a great experience for everyone.

“We went back and forth, wondering if this is the right dog for us,” Axt says.

Axt talked to the puppy’s foster mom who was very supportive and was willing to take Maybe back, knowing she’d quickly get adopted again.

“She just wasn’t what we had in our heads of what a puppy was going to be,” Axt says. “But we said to the kids, we committed and she likes her life here. We are going to stick with her.”

So they started going to training classes as a family and even hired a trainer to come to the house. They found out Maybe couldn’t learn things fast enough. People couldn’t believe how smart she was and how much she loved mastering new tricks. The kids now read books on dog training and spend time every day teaching her new things and working with her on all the tricks she has already learned.

Maybe’s still not much of a snuggler, but the family loves working with her and this smart puppy enjoys all the attention. “That’s how we all show love to each other,” Axt says.

Maybe saves the day

When Maybe rang the bells to signal she had to go outside, Owen was smart enough to check why she was barking so much. (Photo: Kerrieann Axt/KGA Photography)

One of Maybe’s many talents is ringing bells on the back door when she needs to go potty. She did that one evening when Axt was getting Townesend ready for bed, so she asked Owen to let the puppy out.

He let her outside and Maybe — who rarely barks — started barking at the yard next door. A frustrated Owen tried to coax the puppy back inside, but she wouldn’t budge. Owen knew it must be important if the mostly silent pup was so insistent, so he checked and saw the neighbors’ yard in flames. It was a large fire, almost in a perfect circle like a massive fire pit, prompting him to call his mom.

When his mom went downstairs to look, she realized there was nothing intentional about the blaze. She texted her neighbor, who didn’t respond. Then when she saw a tree go up in flames, she called 911.

“It was very big. It was the start of a forest fire and trees were going up,” Axt says. “It was amazing how fast it moves when you’re watching something like that.”

The neighbor quickly replied. She had been tucking her kids in bed and was surprised when she heard Maybe’s unusual bark. But she didn’t realize there was a blaze in her backyard. Within a few minutes the firetruck arrived.

“Once they were there, Maybe rang the bells again,” Axt says. “I put her on a leash and I walked her out. She just went out very calmly, wagged her tail, looked at the firemen, sat down and never barked. It was as if she knew, ‘We’re going to be OK.'”

The kids are so excited about Maybe’s heroics, Axt says. They are convinced that someone from the fire department is going to come to their house and award Maybe a medal of honor.

At least the 6-month-old rescue pup did get a really good chewy that night and probably put up with a lot of hugs from the proud family. In the end, everyone knew that Maybe — for sure — was the perfect dog for them.

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There is no doubt about it Maybe is the perfect dog for this family.

Oh, P.S. – Welcome to November.

Dog rescues a fawn!

Just had to share this with you!

The following story was published on Mother Nature Network a few days ago. I chose to republish it today because it fits in after one of the photographs I presented yesterday. This one:

Now to the MNN article.

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Golden retriever rescues drowning fawn (because dogs are awesome)

Mary Jo DiLonardo   July 18, 2017

Storm was walking with his owner around the Long Island Sound when he went tearing into the water on a serious mission. The English golden retriever had spotted a tiny baby deer in the water that was drowning, so he dove in after it.

“Storm just plunged into the water and started swimming out to the fawn, grabbed it by the neck, and started swimming to shore,” Storm’s owner Mark Freeley told CBS New York.

Freeley caught the amazing rescue on the video above.

When the two of them finally made it to shore, Storm laid down next to the baby deer.

“And then he started nudging it, and started pulling it to make sure she was gonna be OK, I guess,” Freeley said.

(Because Storm is a retriever, some people might wonder if he was just following his genetic instincts and retrieving.)

Freeley called a rescue group to come check on the fawn, but when they arrived, the little deer darted back into the water.

Frank Floridia of Strong Island Rescue waded into the water, while his partner Erica Kutzing ran about a mile down the beach to help.

Floridia got a rope around the fawn, eventually carrying her to shore — blowing out his knee in the process. But check out the smile on his face when he managed to finally corral the deer:

He handed off the fawn to Kutzing, who carried her the long way back to the rescue van.

“It felt like an eternity,” the group posted on Facebook. “The deer kicked and thrashed but they knew they couldn’t stop. She was already stressed enough. Time was fragile at this point.”

The fawn was taken to an animal rescue center where she’s being treated for a few superficial wounds. When she recovers, she’ll be released back into the wild.

You’re a good dog, Storm.

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What a fabulous story with which to start the week!

 

Saturday cat’s day!

The perfect follow-on to yesterday’s post.

As many of you will know yesterday I published a post that was a republication of a recent item on the Care2 site about a Fire Department coming to the aid of a dog.

3201628-largeAny fire chief will tell you that a fire department’s role is not just fighting fires, but sometimes helping community members out of a tight spot. And for the McDowell County Rescue Squad in North Carolina, that form of service required a delicate touch last week when they were called upon to free a dog named Sadie from the grips of a truck tire rim.

Just to illustrate that caring runs across other departments and other animals, read this recent Mother Nature Network story.

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Meet the abandoned kitten who is now the top cop at NYPD’s 60th Precinct

Jenn Savedge   March 2, 2017, 3:34 p.m.

martin-the-police-kitten-jpg-653x0_q80_crop-smart
Martin is all purrs for the officers of Coney Island’s 60th Precinct. (Photo: New York City Alerts/Twitter)

When the officers at a New York police station found an abandoned kitten on their doorstep, they could have taken him to their local animal shelter. Instead, they took him in as one of their own. And now Martin is the official precinct mascot (and unofficial morale booster) of the New York Police Department’s 60th Precinct.

Today, the 6-month-old kitty is living the high life, with treats, toys and snuggles in abundance. But his future was not that certain just a few months ago. The tabby cat was abandoned on the doorstep of the NYPD’s Coney Island office. Fortunately, the officers instantly fell in love, and rather than turn him over to a shelter, they petitioned their boss to adopt him as a pet for the whole precinct.

Officer Martin D. Costanza, who became the cat’s namesake, led the charge to adopt the kitten. Costanza and his fellow officers put the request in with Deputy Inspector William Taylor, the New York Post reports. Taylor, a self-described animal lover, agreed under one condition: Someone else needed to be in charge of the litter box.

Taylor even agreed to pay for Martin’s food and treats and the officers pooled their funds to pay for their new kitty’s shots, neutering and microchipping. Throughout the station, Martin has baskets for napping, multiple food stations and plenty of toys. He also has a large, admiring fan club of officers and visitors who can’t wait to give him a pet or a snuggle.

Since word of his adoption has been made public, the precinct has been inundated with offers for donations and requests to help. But the officers want Martin’s fans to know that all of his needs are being met and that donations should be sent to the local animal shelter.

According to Taylor, Martin shows up at roll call every morning to “inspect” the officers and spread a little joy. “He has the run of the precinct.” Taylor told the New York Post. “He took control of the place right away.”

In my absence "Martin" is called upon to make the heavy decisions.
In my absence “Martin” is called upon to make the heavy decisions.

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You all take care of yourselves out there!

Easy does it!

An interesting review of dog-friendly airports in the USA.

With Christmas almost upon us and the recognition that this is a very busy period in terms of visiting families and friends, I thought a recent essay over on Mother Nature Network would be helpful.

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10 of the most dog-friendly airports in the U.S.

Josh Lew December 6, 2016

 Traveling with your pet can be stressful and tricky, but some airports make the process easier than others. (Photo: Fly_dragonfly/Shutterstock)
Traveling with your pet can be stressful and tricky, but some airports make the process easier than others. (Photo: Fly_dragonfly/Shutterstock)

Flying with a dog, whether a pet or a service animal, isn’t the easiest undertaking. Travelers with larger dogs have to deal with the worrisome fact that their precious pet will have to fly in the cargo hold. Even if an airline allows smaller dogs to fly in the cabin, the trip could be less than straightforward. Will there be an issue at security? Where can the dog relieve itself once you get into the terminal? How will neighboring passengers respond?

But airports can be surprisingly accommodating to dogs, especially service animals. By law, every large airport in the United States has to have some sort of pet relief area in each terminal to accommodate people traveling with canine helpers.

Some hubs have even started programs geared towards travelers who need some four-legged support. These programs bring trained therapy canines into the terminal to sit with any passengers who want to take a break from the stresses of travel or who suffer from a fear of flying.

Here are 10 of the most dog-friendly airports in the U.S.

Denver International Airport

The Colorado airport has pet relief rooms on each of its concourses located on the airside after the TSA checkpoints. (Photo: Denver International Airport)
The Colorado airport has pet relief rooms on each of its concourses located on the airside after the TSA checkpoints. (Photo: Denver International Airport)

Denver International (DIA), the busiest hub airport in the Mountain West, features a state-of-the-art, in-terminal pet care facility. Paradise 4 Paws is a huge (25,000 square feet) venue that offers boarding for pets while their owners are traveling. The kennel area even has webcams so people can check in on their pooch online while they are on the road. Paradise also has 24-hour grooming services and indoor play areas. In addition to Denver, there are locations at Dallas Fort Worth International and at both of Chicago’s main airports.

The Colorado airport has pet relief rooms on each of its concourses. These are located on the airside after the TSA checkpoints. Owners who are in transit can walk their dogs without having to go back and forth through security, and those taking off from Denver can give their dog one final bathroom break before boarding. All these convenient in-terminal features make Denver one of the most dog-friendly airports in the country.

Minneapolis — Saint Paul

MSP’s Now Boarding offers pet boarding services to travelers flying out of the airport. (Photo: Now Boarding/YouTube)
MSP’s Now Boarding offers pet boarding services to travelers flying out of the airport. (Photo: Now Boarding/YouTube)

Minneapolis-Saint Paul International is another hub with multiple pet relief areas. The Minnesota airport has dedicated dog spaces outside both its terminals. The main terminal (Terminal 1) also has a pet “restroom” after security. The airport will provide an escort to take anyone with a service animal to an outdoor relief area if needed.

MSP’s Now Boarding offers pet boarding services to travelers flying out of the airport, and it’s open 24 hours a day. This facility is separate from the terminals, but pet owners get a perk when they leave their dog or cat here: Now Boarding offers 24-hour shuttle service to the terminal entrances. They will also pick you up when you get back so that you can be reunited with your pet as soon as possible after landing.

Detroit Metro

Detroit Metro is another major airport realizing the importance of catering to travelers with pets and service animals. The Michigan hub had service dogs in mind when it constructed a special airside pet relief area, which airport employees affectionately dubbed “Central Bark.” A section of this facility even has real grass.

DWC also has outdoor pet relief areas that are right next to the departures entrance (in the McNamara Terminal) and the arrivals area (in the North Terminal).

Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson

If you are a #dog and you like to travel the Atlanta airport has an amazing dog park!
If you are a dog and you like to travel the Atlanta airport has an amazing dog park!

Unlike most airport dog relief areas, this one actually deserves to be called a “park.” There are benches, complimentary biodegradable poop pickup bags and even a couple of charming dog sculptures. Since the park is fenced in, dogs can run without a leash and work off any excess energy before their flight. This summer, the airport announced it will be adding indoor pet areas on each of its concourses.

Reno Tahoe

Reno-Tahoe International Airport's outdoor dog facility, called the Bark Park, opened 2004. (Photo: Reno-Tahoe International Airport/Facebook)
Reno-Tahoe International Airport’s outdoor dog facility, called the Bark Park, opened 2004. (Photo: Reno-Tahoe International Airport/Facebook)

Reno Tahoe doesn’t see as many transit passengers as the major hub airports, but it still deserves recognition for its pet-friendly attitude. Its outdoor dog facility, called the Bark Park, opened in 2004. The idea has proven so popular and gotten so much positive press for the airport that a second Bark Park was added in 2012. These parks are easy to find — just follow the artificial paw prints on the sidewalks.

The parks are surrounded by fences and are fully accessible, so they are ideal for service dogs as well as pets. As anyone who has been in Nevada during the summer will tell you, the sun can get very hot during the day. For this reason, the Bark Parks are covered with canopies.

San Diego

San Diego Airport now has a dog bathroom
San Diego Airport now has a dog bathroom

San Diego International has several pet relief areas and a unique program that brings dogs into the airport to comfort nervous fliers. SAN has three designated spaces for pets and service dogs. This includes an indoor, post-security option for transit passengers and dogs who need one last pit stop before boarding.

San Diego’s Ready Pet Go program brings trained dogs into the terminal to comfort nervous fliers and provide stress relief to travelers who just had to deal with long security checkpoint wait times and some of the other drawbacks of the airport experience. The dogs and their handlers are volunteers who take two-hour shifts and simply roam the concourses interacting with passengers. The program is a partnership between the airport, the Traveler’s Aid Society of San Diego and Therapy Dogs, Inc.

Washington Dulles

Washington Dulles International Airport has five indoor and outdoor pet-friendly areas. (Photo: Cassius - Canine Companions for Independence Service Dog/Facebook)
Washington Dulles International Airport has five indoor and outdoor pet-friendly areas. (Photo: Cassius – Canine Companions for Independence Service Dog/Facebook)

The main airport in the nation’s capital features no less than five pet-friendly areas. Three of these are typical outdoor spaces with natural grass (near the departures/ticketing entrances and adjacent to baggage claim) and these outdoor parks have complimentary bags and waste bins.

Dulles also has two indoor facilities, one serving the A and B concourses and one for passengers using the C and D gates. These post-security areas are covered with artificial K-9 grass. Even though they are inside, their L-shaped layout means dogs have enough space to move around. When the dog relieves itself, the owner can push a button on the wall to automatically rinse the ground in that part of the dog park.

Phoenix Sky Harbor

Cassie, a 6-month-old Australian shepherd from San Diego, took advantage of one of the pet-relief areas at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. (Photo: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport/Facebook)
Cassie, a 6-month-old Australian shepherd from San Diego, took advantage of one of the pet-relief areas at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. (Photo: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport/Facebook)

Phoenix Sky Harbor offers more than a patch of grass for traveling pets and service dogs. The Arizona airport has five separate areas for dogs. Three pre-security parks sit outside of terminals 2, 3 and 4. The airport has even given these spaces canine-specific names: the Pet Patch (T2), Paw Pad (T3) and Bone Yard (T4).

Unfortunately, Sky Harbor has yet to open any post-security relief rooms. There are, however, additional areas near two of PHX’s Skytrain stations in the parking section of the airport.

Philadelphia International

Pet relief areas are located in every terminal inside this Pennsylvania airport. (Photo: Philadelphia International Airport/Facebook)
Pet relief areas are located in every terminal inside this Pennsylvania airport. (Photo: Philadelphia International Airport/Facebook)

Philadelphia International is arguably the easiest airport in the country to travel with pets or service animals. The reason: Pet relief areas are located in each and every terminal inside the Pennsylvania hub. That means, no matter which gate you happen to be flying out of, you’ll be able to find a place for your dog not far away.

The airport took a unique approach to creating these in-terminal areas. The airlines that use the airport paid to convert seven 80-square-foot spaces into mini dog parks. The airport went ahead with the project despite critics who said the same seven plots could be used for retail spaces that could potentially earn millions in additional income for the airport each year

New York JFK

World’s First Luxury Dog Resort Terminal To Be Opened At JFK Airport
World’s First Luxury Dog Resort Terminal To Be Opened At JFK Airport

New York JFK is one of the most crowded (many call it “chaotic”) airports in the U.S. However, pet-owning travelers may find it welcoming — that is, if they fly out of the right terminal. JFK’s terminal 4 has its own pet bathroom, which is located right next to the “human” restrooms. Previously, pet owners who were in-transit or who wanted to make one final pit stop had to go back through the airport’s notoriously slow security.

JFK is also in the process of building a large terminal exclusively for pets. The cost of the project is $48 million. The investment could be worth the price when you consider that about 70,000 animals, from horses to dogs and cats, travel through the airport every year.

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Remind me in my next life to come back as a dog!

 

Wild dog puppies.

We have to remind ourselves that there are still wild dogs out there in the big, wide world!

I saw this item over on Mother Nature News and it slammed into me that not every dog in the world is a pet! I had almost come to believe that the only dog was a domesticated one!

No better illustrated than by the following video that shows a pack of wild dogs’ new pups.
They were seen at Ngala Game Reserve – Greater Kruger National Park – and the video was taken by Morkel Erasmus.

Aren’t they fabulous! Wild or domesticated they are equally cute and lovable!